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DT 26637

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26637

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

An ideal introduction for new cryptic solvers from Rufus today. Fun but not too difficult.

You can find the answer by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. Listen to the complete record; impartial judges must (4,4,5)
{HEAR BOTH SIDES} – What you have to do if you wanted to listen to a complete vinyl record is also something that you would expect judges to do as well.

10. Speech from ‘Love on the Dole’? (7)
{ORATION} – A word for a formal speech is O (love) and a fixed portion of food for example.

11. Poor visibility — beginnings of rain and light wind (7)
{MISTRAL} – A dry cold northerly wind that blows towards the Mediterranean is constructed from a haze or something that conceals and the first (beginnings) letters of rain and light.

12. Work at home? It’s murder! (2,2)
{DO IN} – to perform something at your house, is also a slang to term that means to kill.

13. Cleric who may have a prior appointment (5)
{ABBOT} – The superior of a monastery or could have been the second in command before taking the top job.

14. The point to make next (4)
{THEN} – THE and N (North – a point of the compass).

17. Athletes naturally full of beans? (7)
{RUNNERS} – Those beans are a type of climbing beans…

18. Brunel’s realm? (7)
{KINGDOM} – The middle name of a famous engineer.

19. The last place a Buddhist wants to go (7)
{NIRVANA} – “The final release from the cycle of reincarnation attained by the extinction of all desires and individual existence, culminating in absolute blessedness” or more commonly a place or state of bliss.

22. Diet for the troops lacks tea, say (7)
{REGIMEN} – A regulated system, for example a diet could be a body of soldiers if you added a letter that sounds like tea.

24. Make one’s name as a writer (4)
{SIGN} – What you do if you write your name.

25. It may be smoked out of its den (5)
{OPIUM} – A narcotic drug extracted from poppies.

26. Lacking lustre, sailor is after doctor (4)
{DRAB} – Put the abbreviation for an able-bodied seaman after the usual abbreviation for a doctor.

29. Famous actor I observed in a musical (7)
{OLIVIER} – Put I into a famous musical by Lionel Bart that is based on a Charles Dicken’s novel to get an equally famous actor. Seriously has anyone not seen this one before?

30. Substandard may mean a small reduction in price (1,3,3)
{A BIT OFF} – Something that may no longer be fresh, could also be a way of asking for something that’s costs less.

31. One who informs a referee? (7-6)
{WHISTLE-BLOWER} – Someone who reveals wrongdoing within an organisation could also use a standard device used for halting games when an infraction occurs.


2. Tail one wags in delight (7)
{ELATION} – An anagram (wags) of TAIL ONE.

3. One in race to destruction (4)
{RUIN} – Put I (one) in a foot race.

4. Large volume of transport? (7)
{OMNIBUS} – A long motor vehicle for passengers.

5. Sea bed? (7)
{HAMMOCK} – The sort of bed that is typically used by sailors.

6. This month in Westminster (4)
{INST} – A word for “in or of the present month” is hidden in Westminster.

7. Broken-hearted, but protected from shock (7)
{EARTHED} – An anagram (broken) of HEARTED is the grounding of an electrical circuit.

8. Magazine articles that could do a lot of damage (6,3,4)
{POWDER AND SHOT} – Ammunition used for cannon and muskets.

9. Not everyone sees the fun in this party game (9,4)
{BLINDMANS BUFF} – A children’s game in which a player who can’t see tries to catch and identify other players.

15. The last competitors try to be first in this event (5)
{RELAY} – 4x400m for example.

16. Getting horse into ship poses unexpected difficulties (5)
{SNAGS} – Put NAG (horse) into the abbreviation for Steamship.

20. Arch is rough cast on the outside (7)
{ROGUISH} – An anagram (cast) of ROUGH is placed around IS.

21. Garments appear dishevelled on student (7)
{APPAREL} – Another anagram (dishevelled) this time of APPEAR followed by L (student).

22. Fruit of theatrical conversation (7)
{RHUBARB} – The noise made by actors to simulate conversation is also a plant that has reddish acidic leafstalks that become edible when sweetened and cooked.

23. New moral we found in old writer (7)
{MARLOWE} – No anagrams in the across clues then they all come at once. An anagram (new) of MORAL and WE for an Elizabethan dramatist and poet.

27. Fruit attached to the trunk (4)
{HIPS} – The fruits of a rose plant could also be found below your main body and at the top of your legs.

28. Storage for crude oils (4)
{SILO} – And a final anagram (crude) this time of OILS.is a place in which fodder is usually stored.

The Quick crossword pun: {queue} + {cumber} = {cucumber}

63 comments on “DT 26637

  1. A gentle start to the week. We have seen 29a (or something very similar) before, I think! Not sure about 14a, as most of the answer is in the clue. Liked 15d and 8d. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. Funnily enough a check on the search function shows…
      19d Musical featuring one former thespian (7)
      A Ray T. DT26466 from Feb 3rd 2011

      1. I thought I’d seen it once or twice in the past year or two! (Sorry – posted before reading your comment for the clue).

  2. Morning, nice gentle start to the week, 9d probably my favourite simply because it invoked some wonderful chilhood memories. Thanks to rufus and libellule.

    1. I think I played that game too.. was that the one where you had a rolled up newspaper and tried to hit people round the head as violently as possible whilst wearing a scarf around the eyes?

      1. Think you played a more violent version Jezza, we just had to find the people hidden around the room and then guess who they were :-)

      2. Jezza,

        I think you’re confusing this with a game called “Are you there Moriarty?”, which was once a popular Mess game in the Army. This was a duel with each contestant blindfolded and a rolled-up newspaper as a weapon. It was more violent than Blindman’s Buff.


        I can’t ignore your rogue apostrophe in “solver’s”!

  3. Goos morning Libelulle, lovely Rufus crossword today, favourite clue 16d, you can just envisgae them trying to push the poor horse onto the ship!

    1. Not a very nice day here at the moment, very Autumny this morning with lots of early mist, hopefully when it clears we will have some sunshine, I want to go blackberrying :-)
      By the way is rhubarb (22d) a fruit ??

      1. Mary,
        One possible definition of fruit
        “A part or an amount of such a plant product, served as food”

    2. “you can just envisgae them trying to push the poor horse onto the ship”…. Noah managed it, and he had 2 of them… :)

  4. Nice start to the week. Many thx to Rufus for getting us off and running and to Libellule for the only one that got me stumped, 27d.

  5. Thanks to Rufus for a lovely puzzle, with some excellent surface reading, and to Libellule for the review.

  6. Very nice start to the week.thanks to Rufus
    That also includes the weather up here in Northumberland ,bright Blue Skies & quite warm.makes a change
    Now to get the washing out !!

  7. It’s always a good start to the week when I can do the crossword, and this was a lovely one to solve with a mix of clues. My favourite clue was 25a, just for the misdirection – I was scratching my head trying to think of every foodstuff that could be smoked and every animal that lived in a den. All good stuff.Talking of 4d I was sad to hear on the radio this morning that Charabanc no longer merits a mention in the dictionary – apparently it has fallen out of use, which is a shame because it is a great word. Thanks to Rufus and to Libellulle for the review.

  8. Morning all. Nice start to the week today, very gentle and quite enjoyable.
    Apparently I’m not allowed to list my favourites any more, but I loved the surface reading of 14A and the horse on the ship reminded me of a Discworld reference (one explanation of the way that the city of Ankh Morpork was founded was founded was a religious patriarch loading two of every animal onto a huge ship as a flood approached. After two weeks of sailing on the new ocean, the ship started to sink lower in the water due to the amount of manure on board, so they shovelled it over the side and founded a city on it).
    Misty moisty morning early on today, but lovely sunshine now – just right for blackberrying Mary.

    1. The reference to Ankh Morpork made me smile & brought back happy memories of all the Pterry books I have read over the years. There will be another like him so long may he continue to bring the Discworld to life for us.

    1. Sorry, I take that back. My newly acquired edition of Chambers tells me it’s one word. I should check it first

  9. Go on Skempie tell us your favourites! It might provoke another comment! I’ll risk it and say I thought 5d and 7d were good! Weather in the Marches is overcast with the odd sunny patch.

    1. OK. guess my favourites today must be 14A and 20D. Incidentally, the reason that I and (I suspect) others make mention f our favourite clues is to show our appreciation for the complier and to commend them on a well worded clue or an answer that hasn’t been seen for a long time or a particularly obscure anagram or a very topical answer, etc.

      1. Well said Skempie! I think the compilers must get a little glow of satisfaction to hear which clues have gone down well with solvers. My favourite today was 10a – clever surface reading.

  10. Once again having trouble getting on the website! Have been signing in first thing in the morning most days to make sure…. but leaving it until lunchtime today was obviously a BIG mistake! Will try again later! :(

    1. Lizwhiz,
      I was going to mention it when I wrote the blog, but decided against it. It took me twenty minutes to gain access to the site at 7.30am this morning…. I am rapidly becoming a distinctly unimpressed subscriber..

      1. Mee too! I have as usual sent a complaint… I do feel they should return some of my subscription.. or give me next year free!

      2. I must have got on there before trouble started as had no problems at 6:30 a.m. getting on and printing off.

  11. Usual nice gentle start to Monday, thank you Rufus. Not sure which to choose as my favourite, there’s a lot of good ones in there. Thanks to Libellule too for the explanations.

  12. OK Skempie, I accept your reasons for giving your favourite clues, you are definitely a nicer person than me! I just thought it might be useful to give an explanation of what in particular you liked about them. How about clues we don’t like, eg I thought 19A a bit rubbish, it was more like a general knowledge clue – not very cryptic?

    1. You will often see people complaining about particular clues – perhaps they feel that the clues are too complicated, not cryptic enough, wrong gender, or any myriad of things. Personally I prefer not to do this if I can avoid it (I prefer to praise the compiler’s work) – a compiler can just quit if they wish and as in the pub trade, its easier to loose custom than to get it back. Often I will explain why I enjoy a particular clue but then sometimes there may be more than one reason or it may be that there are so many good clues that it would require a 10 page essay to explain my reasons.
      Basically, I enjoy clues that a) make me laugh, b) lead to a very obscure word that I have not heard in XX years and c) clues that have a nice, smooth surface reading (such as 14A today), and d) I enjoy clues that have some reference to the things I enjoy in life (mainly books by Terry Pratchett, cricket, rugby, real ale and Bombay Sapphire).

  13. A nice easy start to the week. 9d worried me for a few minutes as I have always called that game “Blindman’s Bluff” but a quick check on Google put me right.

    1. I’m pleased to hear that someone else thought of it as “bluff”. I figured it was cause I was brought up in Canada that made the difference and as you know English and North Americans are separated by a common language……

    1. Also seconded (or thirded?) by me! Have you tried the Hectence Quiptic? I thought it harder than the 2 Rufi put together!

      1. Agreed. Our esteemed leader blogged this on 15 Squared and thought some of it too tough for a Quiptic.

        1. Nice review from BD!
          Thought 26a ‘Sofa for solver? (6)’ was a bit tought for a Quiptic!

            1. Answer was clear but the wordplay seems to me seems a little obscure for what is supposed to be an ‘entry level’ puzzle. I’ve been to San Fransisco where the cable cars have ‘No Standees’ signs on the outside but not a form of word much used as much in English English, if you get my drift.

  14. A very enjoyable puzzle from Rufus in which one had to read the fodder and then think “what is he getting at?” in order to find the answer.
    Full of good clues.

  15. Thanks Rufus for a nice gentle start to the week. My particular favourites were 7 and 21d – lovely surface readings for both. And thanks Libellule for the review, even though I didn’t need it today.

  16. Good review Libellule – thank you. I needed explanation for 13a as just couldn’t see it. I liked 31a and 1a but didn’t like 8d nor 25a.

    Also thanks Rufus for a nice start to the week.

  17. Quickest ever “solve” for me, I think – so either it was easy or my brain was in the right gear for a change. Thoroughly enjoyed it, so thanks to Rufus for making my day and Libellue for the hints – which for once I didn’t need! But I read them anyway, just to check….?

  18. I won’t break Our Leader’s Rules by stating how long it took to complete this one, but let’s just say that the Quickie took about twice the time (partucularly 1a). No less enjoyable for all that, so thanks Rufus for a gentle and relaxing reaclimatisation from leave, and to Monsieur L for the debrief. We duly wrapped up the cricket, but not before “The Little Maestro” almost got his 100th 100. I almost wish that he had, but then the Yorkshireman in me reasserted my sense of feeling and compassion!

    1. I did wonder whether 1a in the Quickie was one that should have been relegated to history. There can’t be many of us left that associate the solution with the hair style. I

    2. Not a quick “Quickie” for me either! Finally, found the explanation for 1a – Grrrr!!

      It was a shame that the adopted son of Yorkshire, aka Sachin Tendulkar, failed to make a century today!

  19. You’re all right- a good, gentle start to the week.

    So, now on to the Toughie…….
    You all know what’s coming…….


  20. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule for a nice puzzle. Was quite easy but I was foiled by 8d, thought it was border for the first word, was thinking newspaper instead of weaponry. Still enjoyed it though. Favourites were 19 and 30 across.

  21. A good day for me! My second attempt at a “live” cryptic and solved it without reference to Libellule’s hints, other than the one in the introduction that it was a good crossword for beginners. I did have to refer to my dictionary and it did take me four hours to complete but it won’t now keep me up all night! Many thanks.

      1. Agreed!

        If you can do this puzzle without hints, you know what you are doing, and, if you stick with it, you’ll certainly find that your solving times will decrease.

        The dictionary is your friend – don’t worry about that.

        1. Many thanks for the encouragement. I started No 26638 last night and managed 17 solutions before bed. I will try it again later today before looking at the hints, now that I have recovered from yesterday’s babysitting stint.

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